Robe was delighted to be lining up on the red carpet to welcome guests at the inaugural The Stage Debut Awards in central London, organised by The Stage, legendary weekly newspaper dedicated - since 1880 - to reporting on all elements of the rich and diverse world of entertainment and the performing arts.
The awards were instigated to recognise the best breakthrough actors and rising star creatives in theatre, with Robe sponsoring the award for ‘Best Designer’ which was won by Rosie Elnile for her eye-catching set for ’The Convert’, staged at The Gate Theatre.
The nine 2017 winners – eight judged by a panel of experts and one selected by public vote - received their awards in a ceremony at 8 Northumberland Avenue in central London, with Robe’s theatre project specialist Dave Whitehouse handing over the Best Designer award to Rosie.
The shortlisted nominations revealed some strong competition!
From young actors to established stars making their theatre debuts, highlighting a plethora of new talent both on and offstage, categories celebrated performers, writers, composers and directors from all over the country. They illustrated a snapshot of the massive wealth of talent and creativity that the world of UK theatre and performance has to offer.
For Robe, theatre is a hugely important sector. With some seriously imaginative and innovative designers working across the visual performance arts spectrum – lighting, video and scenic design – this is a major reason why the brand was keen to support these high profile new Awards.
Says Dave, “Robe has long recognised the importance of new and fresh talent for the stage. It is essential to the future health of the industry as a whole, and vital to reward skills, flair and ideas and encourage both practising and aspiring professionals to raise the bar of what is possible!
He added that Robe would like to congratulate Rosie and all the Best Designer nominees and wish them the very best as they grow their careers.
The judges commented that Rosie’s striking red earth and concrete set for The Convert “made effective and impressive use of the Gate’s compact space”.
The work by Tony-nominated Danai Guria is a gripping exploration of pivotal moments in African history … when resisting invading Western culture could mean death, set in then Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) in 1896.
The other nominations for the Best Designer category were Joshua Gadsby for Dreamplay at the Vaults, London; Simon Spencer for The Tempest at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon and Jessica Staton for Extra Yarn at the Orange Tree Theatre, London.
Notting Hill’s The Gate Theatre is one of the best known and consistently critically acclaimed theatres in the capital. The Convert has also been nominated for two Offie Awards, which recognising the excellence, innovation and ingenuity of independent theatres across London, in the categories for Best New Play and Best Supporting Female in a Play
“Supporting new talent is an essential component strengthening the entertainment industry as a whole and looking to the future” stated Dave. “Without innovation everything will stagnate and decay, so we need to keep progressing. As Robe is at the forefront of lighting and LED technologies, we also want to help push technical and creative boundaries that can make all types of performance more accessible, engaging and interesting to a wider range of audience” he concludes.